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Canon 600D Video Guide
The Canon 600D is a well rounded DSLR ideal for shooting video. It features an 18MP
CMOS sensor granting the ability to shoot Full HighDefinition video as well as a handy flip
out screen that can be angled to suit your personal shooting style.
To start up the camera simply insert a charged battery and SD card into the camera. The
battery port can be found on the right hand side of the camera base and the SD card slot on
the right hand side of the camera body.
Once you have inserted the battery and SD
card simply find the camera’s power switch
which is located on the top, right hand side of
the camera body, and flick it to the ‘ON’
position. The camera should power on. Next
turn the mode dial, located adjoining the
power button to Video Mode, denoted by a
video camera symbol. The screen should
then display an image of your targeted
To start recording straight away, ensure the
camera is set to auto focus, via the AFMF
switch on the camera lens. Switch the
camera to the AF position, point it at your
targeted subject, half press the shutter
button to focus your subject. When you are
happy with the focus, simply press the record
button which can be found on the back of the
camera, denoted by an image of a two tone
camera. The camera will then begin
recording as shown by a red circle displayed
on the top right hand side of the screen. To stop recording, simply press the record button a
The Canon 600D boasts a range of features to help improve the sharpness and user control
when shooting video.
To get a more dynamic experience using the autofocus, you can use the directional control
buttons on the rear of the camera body to move your AF point around the frame, giving you
freedom to focus your subject automatically without requiring them to remain in the centre of
the frame. This gives you more control when it comes to framing your shots.
Alternatively, Manual Focus can be selected by moving the focus switch on the lens to MF.
This mode gives you much more control over the focus and is ideal for making minor tweaks
to the sharpness of the image. To use the manual focus, simply point the camera at your
subject and using the focus ring located on your lens, turn it until you reach the required
focus depth. The location of the focus ring may vary dependant on the specific lens you are
using although in the case of the standard 1855 kit lens that is often sold with the camera,
the focus ring can be found on the very end of the lens.
When using manual focus, it can often be helpful to implement the digital zoom feature to
ensure a clear sharp image. To do this press the digital zoom buttons which can be found in
the far top right corner on the rear of the camera body. Zoom into the maximum depth to
ensure the image is sharp, making adjustments where necessary until you are happy with
the image, then simply press the digital zoom button again to return to your original framing.
The Canon 600D as standard is set to implement automatic
exposure when shooting video. However to gain more
control over this feature, press the menu button to bring up
a number of video shooting options. Select the first option of
‘Movie exposure’ and using the directional and ‘SET’
buttons, change this setting from Auto to Manual.
Once this option is set, press the menu button again to return
to the viewfinder screen and notice the exposure meter
featured at the bottom of the screen. Half pressing the shutter
will give you an exposure reading between 3 to +3. Ideally
you should aim to get your exposure market directly between these two values at 0, unless
you intend to shoot with a darker image although this often isn’t recommended. Using the
Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed settings, you can adjust the exposure of the shot to suit
your desired needs.
On the top of the camera, the selection wheel can be used to cycle through the various
shutter speeds to dictate how long your camera will allow light into the sensor while you
shoot. A higher shutter speed means your sensor is exposed longer and the shot becomes
brighter whereas a lower shutter speed gives an adverse effect. Alternatively, to change the
Aperture simply turn the selection wheel whilst holding the aperture button found on the rear
of the camera body, denoted by the letters AV. The aperture dictates the size of the iris. I
higher aperture means a smaller iris and in turn, less light being allowed to enter the find the
sensor, making the image darker.
The ISO settings can be changed by pressing the ISO button located on the top of the
camera, which will then let the operator choose an ISO setting between 100 or 6400. The
ISO dictates the sensitivity of the sensor to light. A higher ISO will mean brighter images but
also carries the side effect of more grain, where as a lower ISO will develop a darker yet
clearer image. Alternatively, AUTO may be selected to let the camera decide the best ISO
setting for the scene.
Frame Rate and Resolution
The Canon 600D features full HD video recording and a selectable frame rate between
24fps and 50fps. The current settings can be found on the left side of the display when in
video shooting mode. If the current
settings aren’t showing, the INFO
button will cycle through display
information until the various settings
are displayed. To select your
desired shooting mode, simply press
the Q button to bring up the
selection tool. Using the directional
buttons, cycle through the options
until you reach the second from
bottom setting displayed in the
image. Press the set button to select
the option and using the selection
wheel, cycle through the various
settings until you reach the desired
option and press the SET button to
select it. The most common setting
to use would be 1920 25 as this
shoots in full HD with at 25 fps which is the best standard for common PAL recording.
However 1920 24, 1280 50 and 640 25 is also available for NTSC regions, higher speed
HD recording and SD recording respectively. The Canon 600D’s sensor shoots video in
progressive format in keeping with it’s Full HD standard. This feature cannot be changed.
The Canon 600D features limited audio settings using it’s internal microphone which can be
overridden by an external mic, using the 3.5mm mic on the left side of the camera’s body. As
standard, the camera records audio levels automatically but a
manual feature is accessible via the settings menu. When
opening the settings menu using the MENU button, use the
directional buttons to navigate to the second tab and down to
sound recording. From this menu, you may select sound
recording to Auto, Manual or Disable. When using Manual,
sound levels must be adjusted from this menu using the Rec.
level setting and the Level meter at the bottom of the screen.
The Canon 600D records directly onto an SD card which can be inserted and removed as
necessary. Due to the high write speeds of the camera only SD cards rated class 6 or higher
will be functional alongside the camera.
Canon 600D’s use a standardised EF lens fitting, meaning a number of lenses are available
for use with the camera. Zoom lenses are considered more versatile however true focal
lenghth lenses provide a cleaner, more high quality image.